The first-of-its-kind charter flight was dubbed “Operation Home,” and included 50 new Olim and 150 graduates who will take part in Masa.

A first-of-its-kind charter flight from Mexico carrying 230 Olim (immigrants), Masa Israel Journey volunteers and Israelis returning home landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday. Dubbed “Operation Home,” the flight was organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel and Hanoar Hatzioni, with support from Keren Hayesod.

Taking off from Mexico City, “Operation Home” carried 50 new Olim and 150 graduates of Hanoar Hatzioni who will take part in Masa. Dozens of Israelis who have been stranded in Mexico due to the limited availability of flights during the pandemic were also on board.

Upon landing, the passengers were greeted by Chairman of The Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog, Chairman of Keren Hayesod Sam Grundwerg, General Director of Hanoar Hatzioni Gabriel Degen, and Masa CEO Ofer Gutman.

“Aliyah has never stopped, even during the most difficult crises the State of Israel has experienced,” said Chairman of The Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog. “Even now, during a global crisis, Jews from all over the world are realizing the Zionist vision and making their new home in Israel.”

Carlos and Miriam Mercado, along with their four children, arrived on August 11 from Mexico City. After visiting Israel last year, they knew they wanted to make Aliyah.

“Here, I feel truly at home,” said Miriam Mercado. “In Mexico, we are always viewed as ‘those Jews’ and never felt safe to go out with a kippah. We knew we would always be a minority.”

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